Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Five Things We Learned In Corrie This Week

Stripped for your pleasure.  Every year (pandemic permitting) ITV clears the schedules so it can strip a week of shiny floored showbiz extravaganzas.  Normally, this is Britain's Got Talent, the incomprehensibly popular programme where singing grannies, infant dance troupes and magicians battle for the honour of boring the backside off Prince William at the Royal Variety Performance.  This year they went with The Masked Dancer, a programme about Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards prancing about in a rubber chicken costume; looking at the viewing figures ITV may have been better off showing a week of Government Information Films and European cartoons.  Anyway, what this means is that Corrie loses its traditional slot and is instead wedged into the 9 o'clock slot.  On top of this, because it expects to inherit a huge audience from the programme before, the network insists that it have a series of high octane, thrill a second episodes that will hook viewers who are too lazy to turn over to the Sewing Bee on BBC One.  Usually someone will get murdered, or a corpse will be dug up, or a psychopath will get their just desserts, or if all else fails, they'll destroy another bit of the set and wipe out some of the dead wood in the cast.

Personally I'm always disappointed they don't embrace the post-watershed timeslot and go full 18 certificate.  It could be like Hollyoaks: After Hours, or when Brookside was in a graveyard slot in its dying days and they stopped caring.  Make Alina and Tyrone have a full nude sex scene.  Blow Dev's head off in close-up, with Kensingon Gore all over the digestives.  Make Rita eff and jeff throughout.  Anyway, this year, in the absence of any explosions, they decided to simply fill the show with cliffhangers.  All the cliffhangers.  All the time.  Every ad break was preceded by a shocked expression, and the end of every episode was a revelation that would rock the Street.  I wonder what people who don't watch Corrie normally think about all this?  Are there people who get hooked on the constant nerve shredding drama of BGT Week, and then get disappointed when they tune in the following week and it's Ken returning his library books and Tracy having amusing problems with a delivery of hydrangeas?  This year Corrie did its best but it felt a little cobbled together.  It took place over the course of one very long day, a day so long Adam and Sarah went out to dinner twice, and it was more like a lot of plots were wedged together without any real cohesion.  Still, they can't all be blockbusters, and I look forward to next year when, I don't know, a hellmouth opens up in the back of Roy's Rolls.

HAVE IT!  Look, I'm not against camp in Coronation Street.  In fact, I am violently pro it.  If it were up to me the show would be six episodes a week of Mary in outrageous hats and Sally swapping snobbish barbs with the neighbours.  What I like though is consistency.  If it's absurd, make it all absurd; if it's dramatic, go with that.  It meant that I couldn't really join in with the hysterical glee of Twitter homosexuals over Sharon tasering Jenny.  I mean, on one level, yes, it was very funny; Jenny's shocked expression, Sharon looking like Dirty Harry, that gratuitous "have it!".  But it came at the climax of an episode where Jenny put together that Sharon was a criminal, a kidnapper, and could very possibly be about to hurt Rita; the rest of the story was played absolutely straight.  It didn't help that the tasering was immediately forgotten about.  We didn't even get a doctor in Wethy General saying "it appears that your collapse was caused by ten thousand volts up your jacksie, Mrs Connor", as Jenny checked herself out within minutes and moved onto the far more important matter of her failing marriage, presumably with her back screaming in agony the whole time.  It also raises the question - did Sharon have that taser in her handbag this whole time?  Because that could've solved her a lot of problems.  Instead of sending Dev to the shop for booze, she could've simply knocked him unconscious and rifled through Aadi's XBox, and she needn't have sat through that boring documentary with Sam.  One zap and he'd have been out of it and she could've put on Bridgerton instead.

I'm not sure if this was the last we'll get to see of Sharon; driving off in a white van seemed like a pretty anticlimactic way for her to leave the show.  It was at least nice to see her get one last interrogation in before she left, sharing a coffee with Toyah and asking her all about Leanne in a way that was incredibly suspicious and unnecessary.  I suppose there's still Harvey's trial, which can't come soon enough, and then we can put this whole sorry experience behind us.

Nobody cares about Sam.  Remember a few episodes back, when a distraught Natasha said she'd have to personally oversee Sam from now on to make sure he was safe?  She was going to home school him, and look after him, and not let those awful Platt-Tilsleys put him in danger again.  Well, that resolve lasted about eight minutes, as we discovered on Monday that David is babysitting him again and Natasha was nowhere to be seen.  Worse, he was out in the alley smacking gunmen over the head with his telescope while David was presumably indoors eating his lunch in front of Doctors.  (Incidentally, isn't it unfortunate that someone seems to have blocked up the alleyway round the back of the posh houses just as Gary tried to use it to escape?  I reckon it was Sally.  When Elaine was staying with Yasmeen she decided to put as many obstacles as possible in the way of her nipping round to see them).

David's neglect of his nephew extended to him letting him play unsupervised in the back garden even though - as we all know - there's a flipping great hole in it.  Yes there are some barriers in the way, but it would only take Sam spotting a trilobite fossil in the mud for him to lean in too far and plummet to his death.  I notice David isn't letting Max and Lily play out there on their own, but then again, they're completely absent from the show.  I do wonder about the guardians of little Jude Riordan, who plays Sam.  All the other child actors have been entirely removed from the set during the pandemic; we've got the odd glimpse of Hope and Ruby in recent weeks, but Joseph and the quads are invisible, and Harry may as well not exist.  Meanwhile Jude's mum and dad are all "no, please put our son on the show, in fact the more he's in it the better."  Is he the canary in the mine?  If he doesn't die of the coronavirus will they deem it safe for more important child actors like Liam and Jack to return to filming?  They'd best hurry up, because Kevin confirmed this week that Jack is still meant to be ten years old, and at the rate puberty was hitting Kyran Bowes he'll have a full beard when he comes back.

Drink up.  I know she's grieving and everything but can we take a moment to question Abi's judgement?  She conspired with a sixteen year old girl to send her into the home of a man she believed murdered her son to get her to drug him and rifle through his possessions.  That all seems a bit much.  The alternative may have been braining him with a bottle but at least that would've been all Abi.  Obviously the dose didn't work properly, because Asha is not a qualified anaesthetist , and the drug came from a man with a bumbag in the Alleyway of Doom rather than a pharmacy.  It was probably ninety per cent chalk and Imodium.  I am impressed at how quickly Abi was able to get hold of him - is there a drug dealer equivalent of Just Eat?  Delivery within twenty minutes or your smack is free.

For a terrifying moment in Friday's episode I thought they were going to kill Corey and have Nina, Asha and Abi hide the body and send us down that plot hole again.  Thankfully, common sense prevailed, and they instead called the authorities.  Hopefully they'll give up this whole angels of vengeance kick and let the authorities deal with Corey - Craig isn't on the case so there's a good chance he might actually get arrested.  I want Asha to have a nice storyline for once, one where she doesn't sob and scream for fifteen episodes.  Have her team up with Aadi being adorable instead.

Misters over sisters.  Tina O'Brien is a 37 year old mother of two and I still can't take her seriously as a grown adult.  I don't think she's aged since 2004.  Every time she wanders around in her posh suits talking about figures and profits she looks like Entrepreneur Barbie has somehow come to life and is tottering round the cobbles.  It's especially bad when she's in a scene with Carla, who looks like she could run a small country without mussing up her hair.  I did enjoy the two of them working together to reclaim their stock, not least because we learned that Carla is handy with a crowbar; that woman is always revealing new layers.

The d├ętente didn't last long, of course, and soon the two women were bawling at one another in the factory office, bringing up their disastrous pasts as they fought over Adam's liver.  Poor Adam and Peter seem to be an afterthought in all this, with neither of them seeming especially bothered about the operation at all, while the women in their life hiss and spit at one another.  Carla implied that (a) Sarah-Lou is rubbish in bed and (b) that she'd drop Adam like a stone if Gary fluttered his ginger eyelashes at her.  I can't speak to the first fact, obviously, but if the second one is true her window of opportunity may have just closed.

Maria has allowed Gary back into her life and it was abundantly clear that her mattress was going to get a thorough working out.  Apparently, chat about the animals at Bristol Zoo really gets her going; perhaps zoophilia is the next big "issue" the show will be tackling, and Gary and Maria will be arrested in a state of undress in the hyena pen at Knowsley Safari Park.  Gary moving back in with Maria means that Zack will continue to be fatherless, but on the plus side he can spend more time with Liam and... the other one.  Jim?  Joey?  Something like that.

The author is going to be sad to see Johnny and Jenny split up, mainly because he likes the fact that there's a couple on the show called Johnny and Jenny.  They sound like a Ladybird book.  Join him in shouting "you can't just gloss over the fact that you slept with Liz McDonald!" on Twitter @merseytart.

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Sharon boothroyd said...

Fab post.
I don't understand the appeal of most Sat night tv programmes.
The masked dancer, to me, looked like it was aimed at the average 3 year- old.
Do ITV really expect a mature, intelligent adult audience to sit through this dross every night?
Sorry if you liked it, but I can't see the attraction of watching Eddie the eagle prance about dressed as a silly chicken. Thank goodness for Corrie!
HOWEVER... Why would Sarah suddenly start having a go at Carla for her sleeping with Adam? It was ages ago. I don't get why Lucas ripped them off either!
Why would former prisoner wife Maria take Gary back? Probably because there's no other fella on the scene!
I'm pleased to learn that the actress who plays Beth is returning soon after an illness, but we still don't know where Moria and Alex are.
As for all the disappearing kids and the fast developing Jack - no doubt Max will re-appear as a hunky toyboy!

Humpty Dumpty said...

Thankfully, we have your 'Five Things' to keep us entertained. It's true Corrie has been entertaining us but for all the wrong reasons. The 'Bang, bang, you're dead' scene with the taser was absurd. I admit I don't know about the after-effects of being tasered but nobody in the hospital was remotely suspicious. I guess the point was now we know Sharon can be evil. tasering Jenny repeatedly and laughing maniacally while she did so. And over the last few weeks, just about everyone has been getting into other people's mobile phones Without Any Problem At All. I can't even find my own messages. How is it nobody screamed "Stop updating while I'm trying to find a Health App"? And how was it Harvey's thug missed Gary at close range but four foot nothing Sam could whack a big guy over the head?
I enjoyed Sarah taking Carla down a peg or two. The farewell scene between Rita and Sharon was one of the best in recent weeks although that's not saying much.

Anonymous said...

Considering her own past such as dating drug dealer Callum and lying to protect Gary [whom Imram and her husband Adam was investigating for both Rana's and Rick's deaths]which led to the Barlows' brief separation,Sarah is in no position to judge Carla.
I also didn't like Sarah mocking Peter's dire situation and to be honest I do believe Sarah manipulating Adam to change his mind to be a donor thus crushing both Peter's and Carla's hoped was about revenge for Adam and Carla's one night stand nothing more.

CK said...

I'm sure now that Sharon is gone the Harvey storyline will be forgotten until one day Leanne says, oh by the way, I went to trial and Harvey got sent down and we're all safe now. Not that Harvey has henchmen on the outside or anything.

maggie muggins said...

What can I say? Just very, very funny, Scott! After a long week of real life, I really need that! Great writing.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant as always, Scott. Thought I’d have a go at doing my own…

1.Characters not being the focus of their own storyline: Peter’s become an extra in his own storyline, and the drugs story which was a story about Leanne and Simon that derived from the grief of Oliver, has suddenly become all about Jenny and Sharon… and Gary for some reason. Which brings me nice only onto my next point…
2.Gary being shoehorned into everything: It feels like the writers are waving a white flag to us viewers and saying ‘You were right, Gary sucks as a supervillain, so let’s forget the last couple of years and have him be a hero again. Cool?’. No, not cool. You’ve set him down this villainous road so have the courage of your convictions to see it through. He dropped a roof on Rana’s head, killed Rick, is indirectly responsible for the deaths of Robert and Derek (remember him?), caused Carla to have a full-on mental breakdown – not to mention the pain he’s caused Imran and Kelly. Does a character like that really deserve to be glorified as a hero? No. So stop shoehorning him into storylines he has no business being in just so he can swoop in and save the day. Sure, he can be redeemed, that’s fine, but he needs to face the consequences of his actions, which the show seems very reluctant to do. In fact I’ll put money on the roof collapse never being revisited again.
3.Separation street: It’s hard to care about any couple on the show when no time or effort is put into them (Adam and Sarah/Gary and Maria). But what’s with Corrie’s determination to break up the few remaining long-term couples it has left? The latest being Johnny and Jenny. Jenny had a one-night stand with Ronnie (like Carla did with Adam). She tells Johnny, he dumps her (like Peter dumped Carla). And apparently, despite seeing no evidence of this on screen, their relationship’s not been good for ages (just like we were led to believe with Carla and Peter). Why have two similar storylines back-to-back like this? Corrie should be working at building up stronger relationships rather than knocking them down. Which couple is next to split? Can I suggest Tracy and Steve? Then have Rob Donovan be released from prison on a technicality so he can reunite with Tracyluv! Speaking of Tracy, why wasn’t she there supporting Abi at Seb’s funeral? Have the writers forgotten their friendship?
4.Setting the tone: Hard-hitting scenes like the ones of Seb’s funeral lose their impact when they’re followed by scenes of Sharon whipping a taser out of her handbag and a ten-year-old boy knocking a gunman out cold with his telescope. The stuff in these 9pm episodes was so farcical, so devoid of logic, that you just can’t take any of it seriously. I’m all for a bit of daft fun – but this storyline wasn’t supposed to be that. It was meant to be gritty and suspenseful – Leanne, Simon and Nick are in witness protection fearing for their lives! But what have they got to be scared of? A cackling old woman and a clownish henchman who can be outsmarted by a ten-year-old? Corrie needs to give gangster storylines a wide berth after this.
5.What's going on with Lucas? Are they setting him up to be the new baddie? Or is this just a way of getting Carla out of the factory so Sarah can rule the roost?
Overall thoughts: Poor effort. Despite lots going on, very little actually happened. Storylines were all over the place and lacked any tension or plausibility. Daisy’s still detestable. My highlights were Sharon’s ‘Ave it!’ and Sarah’s ‘What shall we do with a drunken Sailor? Who cares!’ – sorry Carla, but I think Sarah won that fight.

Anonymous said...

Jeanie (anon): I didn't think the episodes were that bad! Just a little bit choppy. I must say, I gloried in the scene of Sarah knocking Carla off her high horse--you go, girl! Best take down of the wicked -itch of the west since Maria went up against her in the bathroom at her wedding with Liam. Carla just has that air about her and the certainty--that of course every man will do exactly what she wants them to do without her even having to say please--that you can't help but want to smack her. So it was great to have Sarah reminding her that while men might jump through hoops for her initially, they never stay loyal for long.

The other stuff wasn't bad either, and often pretty funny. Simpering Maria veering between caution and lust as she foolishly gives Gary another chance; Ronnie asking Johnny "still friends?!!!" Sam clouting the henchman with his telescope (we all saw that coming a mile away!), Jenny giving new nasty Johnny (he's sort of come back as Daisy's construction of him, not himself) the boot, the detective--and she's great, radiates cool intelligence and competence--telling Corey that police divers are searching the canal...Lots of good stuff.

The only thing that struck me as awful was the tasering of Jenny...I did a doubletake of that to see if it was really happening--the tone and mood was so off and the whole thing so out of place. Receiving a jolt of electricity strong enough to render you unconscious is pretty serious. Then another, extra blast? That could kill you if you have a heart condition. So why treat it like a joke? On top of that Jenny collapses in the middle of the road in broad daylight and no one seems to be suspicious. And finally Sharon gratuitously gives her another blast? Not funny, just disgusting and out of place. If they want to build Sharon for the pathos of her scene with Rita, why would they show her being so gratuitously sadistic a moment before? Inexplicably bad.


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